CCC, UNM working to make transitions smoother

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo University of New Mexico recruiter Lukas Cash discusses class schedules with a student Friday at Clovis Community College. Cash will spend Thursday’s and Friday’s at the college.

Liliana Castillo

The University of New Mexico has made itself more accessible to students in eastern New Mexico.

The school has hired advisor and recruiter Lukas Cash, 25, who will work out of Clovis, Hobbs and Tucumcari.

Cash spends Thursdays and Fridays at Clovis Community College.

His presence there is part of an articulation agreement between CCC and UNM, which means that UNM accepts courses from the New Mexico general education matrix and courses taken at CCC for which they offer and equivalent.

The schools are working toward what is called a “two plus two” agreement, said CCC Vice President Becky Rowley. The agreement guarantees that two years of specific community college work will count as the first two years of a specific bachelor’s degree.

“Our arrangement with UNM benefits CCC students because UNM offers programs that no other university in New Mexico is able to offer,” Rowley said. “The Extended Learning office at UNM has pushed academic departments to offer more online courses and programs. These additional programs allow our students to pursue a bachelor’s or graduate degree while remaining in Clovis.”

Rowley said CCC also has a number of students who plan to move to Albuquerque and attend UNM full time.

“Having a UNM recruiter and advisor on our campus allows these students to plan for a smooth transition to UNM,” she said.

Cash, a Portales resident, said his job with UNM began in January and he is gearing up for the fall registration season, which happens usually in the last two weeks of April for registration deadlines in early May.

“I serve as a point of contact for anyone interested in UNM in the area,” he said.

Cash said he can help people who want to do distance learning through online courses or Internet television or those who want to attend the college in person.

He said he can help students apply to the university and to the specific department they want to major in and register for classes. If they want to attend the college in person, he can set them up with an individual at UNM who can help them.

Cash said he can also help students transfer lottery scholarships from CCC to UNM and apply for graduate programs that can be complete through distance learning.

Rowley said Cash’s presence allows students who want to attend UNM to plan for a smooth transition to UNM.

“Currently, our advising staff does a great job assisting students who intend to transfer to any four-year college or university,” Rowley said. “Having UNM staff on our campus allows our advisors to refer students to the UNM office for the most accurate information available. I think that making the connection with a UNM staff person also allows the student to feel more comfortable transferring or continuing on to UNM as an online student.”

Rowley said CCC has similar transfer agreement with several colleges, including Eastern New Mexico University’s Portales campus.

“Part of our mission as a community college is to assist our students with transferring to a four-year college or university,” Rowley said. “Having a UNM presence on our campus gives CCC students another option for obtaining a bachelor’s degree. We don’t prefer that our students attend one college over another. We just want them to continue!”